Seeing is believing.
A new migraine simulator lets people who have never endured one of the debilitating headaches get inside a sufferer’s head.
Excedrin unveiled “The Migraine Experience” on Wednesday, the world’s first augmented reality migraine simulator, which bombards the wearer with the blinking lights, floating spots, blurred vision and disorienting auras that 36 million U. S. sufferers report experiencing once the head-pounders take hold.
The simulator shows visual migraine symptoms, such as auras.
The curious will be able to download “The Migraine Experience” app in May, and experience the simulation using Google Cardboard.
The creators hope to break the stigma that migraines are just bad headaches.
The Excedrin Migraine Experience offers an eye-opening simulation of the debilitating headaches.
“We’re simulating the symptoms of a migraine — everything but the pain — because experiencing is believing,” said Excedrin rep Scott Yacovino in a statement. “Allowing non-sufferers, for the first time, to see what it’s like to have a migraine.”
The team brought together four real-life migraineurs with their non-suffering family and friends to test-drive the technology, and hopefully deliver that “aha” moment.
A video shows friends and family of migraine suffers trying the simulator in a restaurant and on the subway.
Each migraine patient explained their individual symptoms, such as “everything gets blurry in one eye” or seeing “floating spots,” and the visual effects were replicated for the non-suffering relative or colleague.
The men and women wearing the simulator were asked to try riding the subway or going to a restaurant while experiencing floating auras, darkening tunnel vision or blinding lights in their field of sight.
The simulator shows visual migraine symptoms, such as floating bright spots.
“This is so crazy,” said one woman in a video debuting the Migraine Experience experiment.
“I’ve got to stop,” said a man overwhelmed by the sensory overload. He told his migraine-afflicted girlfriend he was “sorry for ever doubting you.”
The simulator shows visual migraine symptoms, such as the field of vision going dark.
All of the non-sufferers came out of the experience with a better understanding of what the migraineurs go through.
“Oh my God. I don’t even know how you function,” said one woman.
“It’s exactly what you just experienced, plus severe, severe pain,” answered her friend.
“Migraines interfere with work, with people’s social lives, emotional health and relationships,” said Dr. Elizabeth Seng, a New York based psychologist in a statement. “Unfortunately, migraines are largely misunderstood, often leaving sufferers feeling isolated and stigmatized.”